Emerging from a difficult year, the French banking Group has reported a Q4 net profit of €470m from a €5.84bn total revenue. The results were better than anticipated.

Analysts were expecting a €252m net profit for the quarter and a loss of €822m for the year. Third quarter net income was €862.

In an interview, chief executive Frédéric Oudéa said:

“The Q4 results provide further confirmation of the rebound in our businesses observed in Q3 after a beginning of the year marked by the impacts of the Covid crisis.

“We are therefore entering 2021 with confidence and determination with, as a priority, the execution of our strategic roadmap.”

Notable improvements in H2 after a crushing H1

Net banking income (the balance between bank operating revenues and expenses) came in at €22,113m, down7.6% from 2019.

After a H1 marked by the effects of the health crisis and the dislocation of businesses, the performance of the three business divisions improved significantly in H2, in a still uncertain environment.

Net banking income (excluding PEL/CEL provision) for French Retail Banking was up 2% in H2 2020 compared to H1, with a full-year contraction of 6.1% vs. 2019.

The dynamic rebound in H2 was also observed on International Retail Banking & Financial Services’ revenues (2.6% vs. H1 20); its full-year trend was decline of 2.9%.

There was also a sharp rebound in Global Banking & Investor Solutions’ net banking income in H2 (17% vs. H1) against the backdrop of the normalisation of market conditions. Revenues were down 12.5% in 2020.

The Group “shall remain fully committed to our priorities”

The Covid-19 crisis has proved to be an accelerator of societal trends that the Group had already identified as a priority: Corporate Social Responsibility and digital technology.

In 2020, the Group achieved a new milestone in terms of the energy transition by becoming the No. 2 globally in renewable energy financing and No. 1 on the advisory component.

Moreover, the Board of Directors has validated a binding objective: the Group’s governing bodies will have to include at least 30% women by 2023, ensuring compliance with this objective both in the businesses and the functions.

The Board of Directors has decided to propose the payment of a dividend of €0.55 per share in cash to the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders on 18 May2021, in accordance with the methodology recommended by the European Central Bank (ECB).

“Entering 2021 with confidence and determination”